Our local partisan political bloggers (Russ Steele and George Rebane) are almost giddy, because Congressman Tom McClintock visited George’s home for a gathering of like-minded conservative people.
The discussion was predictible: criticizing Obama and his policies.
It got me thinking again whether Congressman McClintock will adequately represent our district.
On the plus side, Tom is more engaged with our community than John Doolittle. I also appreciate Tom’s institutional knowledge of government and politics more than his opponent Charlie Brown.
But Tom is an idealogue more than a pragmatist. I don’t see that changing much, and it’s a big downside.
Instead of going to George’s house, he should be going to the home or homes of all the registered Republicans and independents in our area who voted for Obama, and he should listen deeply and humbly to their concerns.
Obama and Brown carried Nevada County, and the conservatives need to be thinking more deeply about why that happened. They need to be reaching out to people who are frustrated ex-GOPers, not die-hards.
A big reason stemmed from the failures of the Bush administration after eight years – in economic, foreign and regulatory policy.
It must be embarassing for people such as Tom to lose that kind of support in such a conservative community, and he should be working hard to change that.
As an idealogue, Tom’s track record for helping to bring about needed reform in California also is questionable.
Tom served in the California legislature while the state fell into the abyss. His “just say no” power of persuasion is comparable to that of Sam Aanestad, but it didn’t work.
When you’re in a political minority, you need to pick a pragmatic issue and get it across the goal line – not speak out in broad ideological platitudes.
Though I don’t relish the term, Tom really is a “carpetbagger” politican who came to our district, largely because he stood the best chance of getting elected.
As I’ve written before, Placer County is the “new” Orange County, much of it stemming from “white flight” from Southern California and elsewhere.
But Placer and neighboring Nevada County aren’t big enough to spark a state-wide revolution, as Orange County was in the Reagan era.
So instead, you just wind up with like-minded people gathering together and not addressing the real elephant in the corner – literally and figuratively.
Now more than ever, our county has an opportunity to land some significant stimulus funding.
I don’t always agree with the policies. But let’s face it, we are “grant-land” around here, because we have failed to diversify our economy.
So we ought to be on the lookout for government funding that can stimulate our economy and save the ideology and history lessons for another day. Like it or not, nowadays you have to be more of an opportunist.
Our conservative leaders such as Tom also have to be thinking harder about the art of compromise and learning from the outcome of the last election.